Topping Off My Gear List With the Perfect Summer Hat

I knew I was dialing in my gear list when I started browsing for hats. For the longest time, I wore a simple ball cap that I didn’t mind getting dirty and dunking in the rivers to cool off, but after coming home from a couple of shifts with burnt ears, I was starting to get the itch for something a bit more…iconic.

The thing is, I really like fedoras. You know, the Indiana Jones kind of hat. But they are so hot! There was no way I could see myself hiking in the hot sun with a heavy, sweltering piece of canvas or felt on my crown, but I just couldn’t get down with the floppy sun hats I found in stores and the Tilley was more of an investment than a purchase.

Then, one day, I happened upon a fedora-style hat with a mesh crown in a boot store in Boise, Idaho. Naturally, the one in the store was too big for my head and I failed to check the brand, but at least now I knew there was something out there that just might be cool enough to wear hiking in the summer without resorting to straw. The search was on.

I filled up my Amazon shopping list with all sorts of hats, from leather to canvas, from small Panama fedoras to ones wearing an “Indiana Jones” pin. I felt like Goldilocks (or should I say, “Silverlocks?”) rummaging around in the Bear Family hat closet. Finally, I stumbled across Conner Hats.

You can browse Conner Hats by activity and they have a whole section dedicated to outdoors and hiking. And, yes, they even have an Indy Jones hat. But what caught my eye was the Mountain Breeze Crushable Hiker Hat. It looked just like the one I saw in the boot store, except for the two-tone mesh. I wasn’t digging that. Fortunately, Conner also makes the Carolina Outdoor Summer Mesh Hat, and when I found that, I knew I had found Baby Bear’s perfect hiking hat.

My new summer hat took its maiden voyage on the Crystal Lake Trail hike I got to do with Brandon in July. The hot summer sun beat down us as we traversed open face mountain slopes at 8,000 feet elevation. I was not disappointed. My ears were so shaded by my new wide-brimmed hat that all I felt was the cool mountain breeze. Rites of Passage students might think I look silly, or just old, and it shapes my hair kinda funny, but I love it. I can’t wait to embarrass my kids by wearing it around town!

Oh, wait, we live on the Camas Prairie in north-central Idaho. I’ll fit right in.

Even though this is not a sponsored post, I am really happy with my hat so far and would recommend it; however, if you order off Amazon, you might get a Cov-ver branded hat in the mail. As the story goes, Will Conner learned how to make Australian-style hats from his father, Bill Conner, who ran “BC Hats” in Australia. When Will eventually went into business selling his own hats, he started off as Cov-ver Hats until he felt like he could make hats worthy of the Conner name. When that day finally arrived, BC Hats and Cov-ver Hats merged to become “Conner Hats.” Their story is a cool one and worth the read.

Mine is a Cov-ver Hat, but I still really like it. I’ve got the Rugged Mountain Trail Hat in my sights for this winter. Do you have a favorite hiking hat? Was it easy to find, or did you go through several models and styles first? We’d love to hear your story in the comments below.